Pagcor rejects Philweb text lottery proposal

Philippines state-owned gaming regulator Pagcor has officially rejected Philweb’s proposal to roll out text-lottery, local media reports.

According to the Inquirer, in a letter dated on September 20 to Philweb, Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo said that after a review of the recommendations of “pertinent departments and deliberations of the board”, it was decided that the proposal be rejected at this time.

She noted the current policy of the government was to “strictly regulate and ensure nonproliferation of gambling avenues which are accessible to lower income brackets of society.”

Known as PAGCOR Text Bonanza, the text-lottery is based on a proprietary software, in which a chosen lottery number is texted to Philweb/ Pagcor services via a mobile phone. The bettor will then receive a confirmatory message which he saves in his mobile phone as his ticket.

“When we submitted this proposal some years back, PLDT/Smart owned 27 percent of PhilWeb, and therefore had agreed to a 70 percent PhilWeb and 30 percent Smart sharing of the text revenue (in contrast to the normal sharing of 70 percent for Smart and 30 percent for the service provider),” said Philweb CEO Dennis Valdes last month.

“With over 100 million cell phones and 1.5 billion texts per day, it is not difficult to see the advantage of PAGCOR Text Bonanza over PCSO’s Lotto system,” he explained, adding that PAGCOR Text Bonanza could supplement government income “many times over.”

“There is an existing Department of Justice opinion confirming that nothing prevents PAGCOR from engaging in PAGCOR Text Bonanza which is nothing more than a sophisticated technology lottery, clearly allowed in the PAGCOR charter,” he added.